Understanding Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i): Insights from Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law

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Introduction to Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i)

Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, established by Congress as part of the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act, provides a potential route to permanent residency in the United States for some unauthorized immigrants. This section of the law allows individuals who might not normally qualify to adjust their status to a lawful permanent resident without leaving the U.S., provided an employment or family-based immigrant petition is filed for them.

Initially aimed at protecting family unity and encouraging economic contribution, this provision offers a lifeline for those who entered the U.S. without authorization or overstayed their visas.

Although Section 245(i) is closed to new applicants today, it remains relevant. It applies to those who had their petitions filed before the cutoff date of April 30, 2001, allowing them a chance to stabilize their status in the U.S. This aspect of immigration law underscores the ongoing evolution of U.S. policies and the need for professional guidance, such as from an Adjustment of Status lawyer in navigating its complexities.

This section illustrates the delicate balance between past immigration legislation and its current interpretations, continuing to impact lives by offering pathways to lawful residency for eligible immigrants. Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, sheds more light on this topic.

Eligibility for Section 245(i) Adjustment

Have you ever wondered how an individual who is out of permanent lawful status can still seek permanent residency in the U.S.? Under certain conditions, Section 245(i) might be an avenue to achieving that coveted Green Card. Applicants must satisfy a complex array of requirements to be eligible for adjusting status through INA 245(i).

Firstly, we must consider the critical dates. An applicant must have had an immigrant petition or labor certification filed on their behalf by April 30, 2001. This places a time-sensitive context on eligibility.

For petitions filed between January 15, 1998, and April 30, 2001, the applicant must have been physically present in the U.S. as of December 21, 2000, to qualify for the 245(i) adjustment.

Furthermore, the immigrant must be in the United States when applying and be either admissible to the country or eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility. This aspect underscores the importance of assessing one’s immigration history and potential grounds for inadmissibility.

Minors derive protection from their parents’ granted petitions or certifications. However, if the original petitioner, such as a family member or employer, passes away, divorces the applicant, withdraws their petition, or cannot support the application, other relief avenues must be pursued. It is also crucial that the business that filed Form I-140 or the labor certification has not ceased operations.

Biometrics, security, and background checks are mandatory steps in the adjustment process, affirming the integrity of the immigration system. Lastly, note that the $1,000 penalty fee is typically required when submitting Form I-485, although exemptions may exist.

Eligibility also hinges on whether the visa petition or labor certification was approvable when filed, ensuring that immigrants do not lose their 245(i) eligibility through no fault of their own.

Eligibility for Section 245(i) is complex, necessitating a professional assessment of each individual’s unique situation. Resources about Green Card through INA 245(i) Adjustment provide more detailed information about these adjustments.

Legal Implications and Benefits of Section 245(i)

What if you could convert a difficult immigration situation into an opportunity? Under certain circumstances, Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes this possible, allowing individuals ineligible to adjust their status within the United States to that of a lawful permanent resident. This provision can be a lifeline, offering relief from the shadows of potential deportation.

The primary benefit of Section 245(i) is that it forgives unauthorized stays or work in the U.S., permitting applicants to proceed with their adjustment of status application without leaving the country. 

Family members included in the primary applicant’s petition, such as spouses or children, can potentially benefit from the same relief. This level of flexibility is typically unavailable, and it counters the harsh three—and ten-year bars of reentry that usually accompany overstays and illegal presence.

Under this section, applicants are required to pay an additional fee, often referred to as a “penalty fee,” of $1,000. This sum is used to waive certain immigration violations, creating a path for eligible individuals to achieve lawful permanent resident status without facing an uncertain timeline abroad.

While embarking on this process, the applicant can also apply for employment authorization and, in some cases, advance parole, which allows them to travel outside of the United States without affecting their pending adjustment of status. This is crucial as it preserves family unity and grants the ability to work legitimately while the application is under review.

Applicants must attend an interview at a USCIS office, which is a significant step toward attaining a green card. With successful verification and approval, an individual’s status is adjusted to that of a lawful permanent resident, leading to permanent residence and, eventually, the opportunity for naturalization. To learn about the specific timeline for adjustment of status, applicants can refer to credible legal resources that offer guidance through each step of the process.

Understanding the legal implications of Section 245(i) thoroughly is advised, as it affords substantial benefits that can alter an immigrant’s trajectory toward becoming a lawful participant in the fabric of American society. However, the intricacies of immigration law and procedures emphasize the importance of legal counsel in navigating this complex avenue of immigration relief.

How Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law Can Help

What happens when the pathway to your American dream intersects with legal complexities? The journey to securing a green card is intricate, involving precise navigation through U.S. immigration law. At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, our first commitment is to transform this complexity into a manageable process for you.

Our legal support encompasses a comprehensive USCIS process, particularly the fulfillment of Form I-485 for adjustment of status under Section 245(i). Here’s how we can assist:

  • Legal Consultation: We will discuss your unique situation and inform you about your eligibility for adjustment of status under Section 245(i).

  • Filing Documentation: Our team is skilled in preparing and completing the necessary paperwork with attention to detail.

  • USCIS Interaction: Facing USCIS can be daunting. We handle communications and interviews, advocating tirelessly for your case.

With our immigration knowledge, we understand the importance of getting every step right. The attorneys in our firm are not just practitioners of law; they are professional navigators of the legislative maze of immigration. We are prepared to guide you through each phase, ensuring you understand your options.

Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, is a beacon for those feeling lost in the legal system. We embrace the duties that come with the title of your work visa attorney, taking the burden off your shoulders so you can focus on building your future in the United States.

Common Questions About Section 245(i) Adjustment

What is Section 245(i)?

Section 245(i) is a provision in the United States immigration laws that allows certain immigrants who are family-based or have a labor certification application filed to apply for a green card without having to leave the country despite having entered without inspection or overstaying their visa.

Who can use Form I-485 under Section 245(i)?

 Individuals who are beneficiaries of a visa petition or labor certification that was approvable when filed on or before April 30, 2001, may use Form I-485 to adjust to permanent residency. Qualifying petitions must have been non-frivolous and filed by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident family member, such as a spouse or child.

Who is eligible?

Out of status – Individuals who are out of status yet protected by Section 245(i) can apply.

Family-based – Applicants with a U.S. citizen or LPR relative who filed a visa petition.

Labor certification – Those with an employment-based petition filed before the deadline.

What are the requirements for Supplement A to Form I-485?

 Applicants must complete and submit Form I-485A and the required $1,000 fee unless exempt. This supplement is specifically for those applying for an adjustment under Section 245(i).

Professional legal advice is crucial when dealing with complex immigration matters, particularly concerning legalization through 245(i) adjustments. It’s important to consult with immigration professionals to navigate through your application process effectively.


Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act represents a critical provision for many foreign nationals seeking to adjust their immigration status without the need to depart from the U.S. Particularly, it is an avenue available to those who have a U.S. citizen family member or an employer willing to petition on their behalf and have a visa petition or labor certification filed on or before April 30, 2001.

The complexity of immigration laws means navigating Section 245(i) can be a labyrinthine process, fraught with specific criteria and stipulations. The $1,000 fee associated with the application acts as a penalty for the immigration status violation, allowing applicants to adjust their status to that of a legal permanent resident. It is essential to understand that while Section 245(i) presents opportunities, it simultaneously carries a host of intricate legal requirements best scrutinized with professional guidance.

At Andrew T. Thomas, Attorneys at Law, we are committed to guiding our clients through the complexities of the U.S. immigration system. Our firm recognizes the importance of staying informed about the ever-evolving legislation to offer the most current and effective strategies for adjusting status.

For those curious about their eligibility under Section 245(i) or for foreign nationals with any other immigration-related concerns, we welcome you to contact us. Our goal is to provide the comprehensive support necessary for navigating your path to legal residency in the United States.